Duke uses the Raven’s Rear Curtain Sync Feature To Create Dreamy Images
Duke Pham is a professional photographer based in New Jersey, USA who specializes in fashion, portrait and editorial photography. Born and raised in Vietnam, he grew up in his Dad's darkroom surrounded by cinema and photography equipment, as his dad worked as a documentary film director and cameraman. After graduating from Ha Noi Institute Of Theater and Cinema in 2001, Duke spent several years working as a film director for Vietnam National Television. He settled in the US in 2011 to pursue a professional photography career.
Photo Credit: Duke Pham of Duke Pham Photography
Duke owns his own photography studio in New Jersey, where he is actively engaged in conducting photography and lighting workshops. He uses the Raven flash trigger and it’s numerous features to create mesmerizing photographs, teaching his students how to produce captivating images that tell an interesting story.
The students who participate in Duke’s workshops include wedding photographers, sports photographers, event photographers and more. Duke educates on how the Raven has elevated his work to a new level, and demonstrates how it can be utilized to improve the work of his students too, especially through various lighting situations.
Currently Duke is photographing with two cameras: a Canon EOS R5 and a Canon EOS R. He also uses a Godox AD600, AD400 Pro and AD200.
The Raven’s impressive features
“As soon as I received the Raven,” Duke says, “I connected it to my WiFi at home and made sure it was up to date. Now every time my Raven connects to my home WiFi, it tells me if it needs an update. For me, this is extremely convenient.”
Photo Credit: Duke Pham of Duke Pham Photography
“When I first saw the Raven, I thought to myself, ‘Why this price point? What’s so special about it?’ But then the more I got to learn about the features – and the more I saw the power that this trigger gives me – the more I was simply blown away.”
Since Duke’s studio has very high ceilings, Duke hangs his lights high up for a lot of his shoots. Reaching these lights is a task in itself, but being able to control them seamlessly through the Raven is nothing short of amazing! Duke also loves how he can group lights together or use them separately.
While Duke is an artist at heart, he still methodically plans out each and every photoshoot. He likes to be in control of exactly what he is going to photograph, and the Raven offers the extra edge he needs to get that level of perfection.
“The Raven lets my photographic skills work simultaneously with my inner creative artist. Even though the gear is both powerful and technical, it doesn’t interfere with my creativity.”
Raven’s Rear Curtain Sync feature paired with Focus Assist nose light
To highlight how Duke uses the Raven to produce clear and compelling images even when the subject is moving unpredictably, Duke talked us through a recent photoshoot he conducted with dancer Analiese.
To photograph Analiese’s beautiful balletic movements Duke used the Raven’s Rear Curtain Sync feature. This allowed him to capture Analiese mid-flight, without asking her to pause or repeat her movements. Duke was also constantly changing positions throughout the photoshoot, and the Raven helped him capture every moment without a single misfire.
When operating in Rear Curtain Sync, the Raven offers ultimate control for precise timing. Using the Sync View feature allows the user to optimize the effect of flash delay timing to minimize streaking after the strobe pop. It also ensures the user can enhance the light trails that portray motion before the strobe pop. Adjustments to the timing delay of the strobe pop are available on the OLED screen as you rotate the Raven’s control dial.
“Because I was shooting with long exposure, I had to shoot in complete darkness. The camera couldn’t focus on Analiese’s face since it was pitch black, and she was also constantly moving so I didn’t know where my camera was pointing. This is when I decided to use the Raven’s nose light. It was perfect. It not only helped me get the effect I wanted but also perfectly worked for focus assist.”
For those who are interested in this technique, you can customize your menu settings to have the Focus Assist light automatically turn on when your camera is focusing. When selecting Auto or Manual Focus Assist lighting you’re given the option to have red or white light. White light is a huge advantage to mirrorless cameras because mirrorless cameras cannot use the conventional Auto Focus Red assist light due to sensor filters that cannot see an IR assist beam.
We love the movement Duke is able to capture in these dreamy images, and the techniques he has shared to achieve this. We’re thrilled he is passing on his knowledge to all those he teaches. We can’t wait to see how the Raven continues to assist Duke and his students in their work!
Learn more about the Raven from our Explore Raven section on the website:
Photographer: Duke Pham of Duke Pham Photography
Personal portfolio: https://www.dukepham.com/
Facebook: Duke Pham
YouTube: Duke Pham
Ballet dancer: @analiesec_